The Algarve has a fantastic climate which made the region become one of Europe’s most popular holiday destinations.

With an annual average of 3000 sunshine hours, the Algarve in one of Europe’s sunniest places, and sees more sunshine than even California. The summer months will see 12 hours on sunshine per day on average and almost no rainfall.

Temperatures average 28ºC in July and August, though the mercury can rise to the mid 30s in the middle of the day. Being a coastal region, however, there are cooling sea breezes that sweep in off the Atlantic which are welcome relief on the hottest days.

Spring and autumn are very pleasant times of year. For those looking for an active holiday this is perhaps the best time, as temperatures are much more comfortable. Rainfall is slightly higher in autumn than in spring.

Winter in the Algarve is mild. Average temperatures fall to their lowest in January at 15ºC. Warm days are not uncommon in winter as southerly breezes can bring daytime temperatures of up to 20 ºC. Temperature at night will be in single figures but rarely, if ever, falls to zero.

The period from October to March sees the most rainfall in the region. January and February are the wettest months, experiencing 70mm of rain on average. Typically, however, most rain falls in a short period as heavy storms sweep in from the Atlantic once or twice a month. So even the wettest months still see 20 days of dry and clear weather.

Temperature and rainfall can vary slightly across the region. The hilly regions that lie in the north receive cooler temperatures, more rainfall and occasionally snow some winters. Weather is also more unpredictable in the mountains. These mountains benefit the southern coastal regions as they block the cooler winds that come from the north. The west coast of the Algarve is more exposed to the Atlantic and can see cooler and wetter temperatures in the winter.

The Algarve, like everywhere else, is susceptible to freak weather conditions that seem to be increasing in recent years. Examples in recent years in the Algarve have been the extreme cold snap in January 2006 that saw snow fall on the beaches. Also a heat wave in the summer of 2004 saw forest fires blight the region as searing temperatures and sea breezes combined to give perfect conditions for the fires to spread.

Sea temperatures are fairly mild throughout the year. The temperature in summer is around 21ºC giving perfect bathing conditions, while it will fall to around 14ºC in winter. Swimming is generally comfortable from late spring to late autumn. The sea is cooler the further west you go, as you move from the warm waters of the Mediterranean to the cooler Atlantic waters.

Depending on the time of year you are visiting the Algarve it is worth considering hiring a car with air conditioning. You can get an online free competitive quote for your car hire in Algarve here

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